I know the big event was more than
two three weeks ago now but I’m playing major blog catch-up at the moment and this is one post I don’t want to miss as there were so many memories and firsts I need to capture for posterity. And anyway, it’s taken Little Miss almost this long to grasp the concept that Christmas, and the presents, and the seemingly endless supply of chocolate, really is now finished!
In fact, only the other morning we woke to the sound of her singing Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer in her bed and heard her telling her dolly that Father Christmas had been and was with his reindeer on the roof! So cute and Daddy has recorded it on his phone so we can bring it out on her 18th!
Christmas 2014 was our first as a family of four and the first that Little Miss, our eldest, had much more of an idea of what was going on. It was lovely to see her excitement and wonder at all the special things that were happening. That said, her understanding was very much still that of a toddler – I lost count of the number of times we had to explain that you can only open one door each day on the advent calendar!
Highlights included visiting Father Christmas at the National Trusts’s Uppark House and Garden. OK, so the timing wasn’t perfect for her baby brother, who was rather angry about being made to wait for milk while we queued to go in to see an old man with a big white beard. But Little Miss was so good and quietly told Santa that she wanted a ‘dolly with hair’ for Christmas! And she loved her little grotto gift, a handsome, cuddly red squirrel who she named Cyril and who was given the honour of a spot in her already somewhat overcrowded bed.
That same evening our local rotary club was doing its annual Christmas collection and drove down our road with Santa on the back of a float. Little Miss was so excited, her face was a picture, and we really started to feel the magic of celebrating Christmas with our two little people.
Christmas week was packed with family, fun and festiveness. First up was the traditional annual gathering with my husband’s relatives. This year’s event saw ten small children, his brothers and their wives, two aunties and uncles and a handful of cousins involved. And, of course, Granny and Grandad. The ever expanding number of little ones meant it was easier to hire out a local hall than cram into one of our houses. It was lovely to see Little Miss and all her cousins running around so happily.
Next up was Little Miss’s nursery concert, our first experience of seeing one of our offspring perform. The show took place in a proper little auditorium with tiered seating – a good thing given all the parents jostling to get the best view of their little darlings! Thankfully Mummy didn’t sob in the audience but we were very proud of how well she did, given she is not yet three years old and could have been totally forgiven for being struck by stage fright!
Little Miss’s group were the youngest children in the show and they all dressed as stars to sing her favourite, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The other groups included snowmen (apparently dominated by the most manic children, running amok across the stage!), reindeer and elves. All very cute. Her outfit was a bit of a glittery mish mash. To be honest, Mummy could have done better but I ran out of time. And, in my defence, the dress code was simply to wear something sparkly and perhaps a bit of tinsel. So that’s what we did.
The concert was followed by another family tradition, our church’s candlelit crib service. We’ve been taking Little Miss to this every year since she was born. It’s hugely popular locally, full of youngsters and all the favourite carols, and every year the clergy do a fabulous job of telling the Christmas story in ever more inventive, child-friendly ways. This year was the most ambitious we’ve seen yet with, I kid you not, a remote-controlled Angry Bird flying above the congregation!
Christmas Eve was heralded by the appearance of Little Mister’s first tooth (sob, he’s getting so big now!). Daddy also made mince pies with the assistance of a little helper and we finally got around to creating our Portable North Pole video. I was really impressed and Little Miss was transfixed when she watched it, especially when it showed our house and her baby brother. My highly emotional state lately (making it even more amazing I didn’t cry at the nursery gig!) meant this brought tears to my eyes. Thanks to fellow blogger What the Redhead Said for the handy review and discount code.
We continued the magic by, for the first year, putting out a mince pie, drink of milk and carrot for Santa and his reindeer (Daddy later took great pride in creating ‘authentic’ reindeer teeth marks on the carrot!). Then just before bed we hung up hers and her baby brother’s stockings and put up the little personalised ‘Santa stop here’ signs my mum had bought for each of them. We then read the classic The Night Before Christmas, a book I myself loved as a child.
On Christmas morning Little Miss ran out of bed, thudding across her floorboards to see if Father Christmas had filled her stocking. On discovering he had, she quickly tore open the first few presents. Little Mister seemed equally pleased with his little haul! We then all enjoyed a Christmas breakfast treat of pain au chocolat – for a child who rarely has chocolate (nasty strict parents!), for Little Miss this must have been epic! Then later that morning my parents arrived for the day.
Little Miss loved all the presents, which kid wouldn’t?! She became very good, perhaps a bit too good at unwrapping them, regardless of whose name was on the tag! Her baby brother in particular was given rather a lot of assistance at times. He too was very keen but primarily for the paper and putting them in his mouth. We could have wrapped up the contents of our recycling bin for him and he’d have been happy!
Christmas lunch marked the first occasion Little Mister sat in the highchair (hastily retrieved from the garage!) so he could join us all at the table. Once safely installed, he tried to eat his cracker. Mummy had a bit of a panic about the glitter round his mouth.
What more can I say about Christmas Day? Simply that it was filled with fun, food, presents and love. And, I mustn’t forget, how handsome our little man looked rocking his first ever party shirt! I know I’m biased but doesn’t he look gorgeous? It even had a cute little bow tie too but he generally preferred the casual approach!
The days after Christmas were filled with lots more of the above and lots of visiting family and friends, some more overdue than others. And any downtime was spent checking out all the new toys – something we all enjoyed, not just their little owners! I’m especially partial to a bit of Duplo architecture! And, in case you were wondering, Father Christmas did deliver ‘Dolly with hair’!
On New Year’s Day, our lovely Little Mister turned six months old. Six months already! (more sobs!). And a few days before this yet another major milestone was reached when he had his first taste of solid food.
It’s safe to say that he hasn’t looked back since! As we’d both predicted, our little-big boy loves his food. Weaning has now well and truly commenced and there’s been very little spitting out the mush for this one! His newborn days are becoming happy but increasingly distant memories. He now spends much of his time down on the floor, desperately trying to get his hands on whatever he can. He’s an accomplished roller and I don’t think it’s going to be too long before he sets off to explore properly on all fours. Then the fun/terror really begins!
I hope everybody else had a lovely (belated) Christmas and my very best wishes for 2015.